When to settle and when to struggle?

Monday 21st June 2021

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

It was Mid Summer’s day so the plan was that we would meet outside in Clarence Park. Why be on Zoom and indoors at the start of Summer? We had forgotten as we do that we are in England and there is a 50% chance of rain. There was rain so we decided we would meet at the Meetinghouse. A link to Zoom had been created. There were three of us at the Meetinghouse and no one on Zoom? We were later to discover that our Zoom link was not accessible. We continue to learn in this new world where we attempt to blend virtual and physical.

We encouraged Janet to continue. She began by drawing on the ‘I and thou’ work of Martin Buber which raised the question as to how we see that outside of ourselves. Do we objectify others as ‘it’? We thought that viewing others as ‘it’ led to genocides on the macro but what on the micro?

How well do we do at understanding that others have very different experiences of living than we? How well do we understand the experience of Black people, women, transgender people, those who choose to be non-binary?

Eddie Izzard and Grayson Perry became examples for us of two people who live beyond our normal definitions of gender. Some of us struggled with our pronouns as we did at school with grammar. Were we recognising that in the younger generation language is changing as people become more fluid in defining their gender and sexuality? Quaker Young Adults seem to at the forefront of this and perhaps are an example of a community that is at ease with this exploration.

Perhaps (I use that word a lot) in older generations (those of us over 30) we struggle more with the subject as we contended with other issues in our generations such as same-gender relationships, divorce, abortion. Do we settle down as we get older becoming less inclined to change having gone through in our youth the transition of what we inherited from our families/communities to our own beliefs and practice?

Of course, society is forever changing and as a community within it we owe it to all of us to keep struggling with issues even when often we just want to settle.





Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.

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Gordie Jackson

Gordie Jackson

Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.

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